Here I am! This Image was taken in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii sometime not too long after I reported aboard my Destroyer in November of 1965. The Image does not show that I’m half scared to death. I’m right out of High School, in a strange place, have no idea where I’m going, or what is in store for me. I’m like most others that can’t see what is in my future. I had to learn fast. I had to grow up quickly. I always wanted to be in the US Navy to see the world. I did just that. I sailed all over the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii, Japan, Phillipense, Okinowa, Vietnam, Pago Pago, New Zeland and Austraila. I came home a different person. There was one thing that I was never told about after I enlisted and that was there was a War going on that I knew nothing about. I found out!
Here is my Destroyer that I was aboard for 3 yrs. It was my Home. This Image was taken as we entered Sydney, Austrailia coming off the gun line in Vietnam for 4 day’s of R&R. The Opera House in the background was just being completed then.
This is a Image that I took while on the Port Side. We just got done taking on amunition, stores, and fuel from the USS Pontchatula, a supply ship. The Carrier is the USS Ranger, I think. Don’t quite remember.
Here we are at the Floating Gardens in Hong Kong. I’m on the far right with my NEW camera that I bought here. I just made E-3 and we were all out celebrating. The Floating Gardens were a outstanding place to see and eat in. I could not read any Chineese, so we ordered what looked good! We were given so much food that it was not all eaten!
The Ribbons that I earned for my Dress Uniform which still hang in the closet draped in plastic. From left to right is the Good Conduct Ribbon, the Vietnam Service Ribbon, with one Bronze Star, and the Vietnam Defense Ribbon.
Now, I just want to say that I’m not “tooting my own horn” here. Just wanted to show what was part of my Life. Being in the Navy during those years opened my eyes to many things in the world. I’ve seen things that most people will never see. Some of it was not good, while others were interesting and eye opening. Coming home on leave in 1967, I had bottles, coke cans and was spit at in Travis AFB in California. Just because I was a Vietnam Vet. We we not cared about back then, like now. People just did not care about what our Marines and our Armed Forces went thru. No parades, no Welcome Home, no nothing! Most all of us never knew that was going to happen.
After getting out of the Navy, I used to have some bad dreams about seeing Dead bodies of Vietcong in the water. Their “Junk” was fired on by my Destroyer for carrying arms back and forth to North Vietnam. There was not much left. I won’t go into detail. It was not pretty to see.
In closing, I would like to take time to say “THANK YOU” to all our other Veterens that are out there. Some of you endured more than what I had to.
From a Grateful US Navy Vet.